FNF Coaches Talk for Monday, Feb. 18

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here are some of the stories we’re discussing in our newsroom.

1. How could someone born without arms or legs, who’s never held a football, teach high school players how to throw, tackle or block? (ESPN)

Here’s an inspiring story for football coaches at every level. Prospect High School (Calif.) JV coach Rob Mendez has waited 12 years for a head coaching opportunity that he started to fear would never come.

Mendez was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare congenital disorder that prevents the formation of limbs during embryonic development. He has lived his entire life without arms and legs. He is mobile thanks to the chair he controls with his head and neck. It has given him a life otherwise inaccessible.

He has wanted to coach football ever since he was a boy.

Mendez says it started with the Madden video game. His older sister, Jackie, pushed her brother to try new things and one day tucked a PlayStation controller under his chin. He learned to press the buttons with his chin and collarbone. Unlike fighting or fantasy games where he constantly had to engage, football gave him breaks. Pick a play, execute for a few seconds, take a break, pick another play and repeat. He couldn’t get enough. In high school, his friends organized a 32-team Madden tournament. He finished second.

When his friends went out for football his freshman year of high school, Mendez became the team manager. He absorbed everything he could. He drew up game plans on Madden and took them to practice. By his senior year, he worked his way up to quarterbacks coach. And he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

For the next 12 years, he worked as an assistant coach at five high schools, waiting for someone to believe in him as a head coach. That man was Mike Cable. Last April, the varsity coach at Prospect was looking for someone to help change the culture of the Prospect program when he came across Mendez’s résumé. He put the name into Google. His jaw dropped.

Read the whole story for some inspiration this offseason. It just goes to show you that you are currently doing somebody’s dream job.

Where do you look for inspiration during the most trying days of being a coach?

2. NFL lessons to learn from Patriots’ title run; a new hiring trend? (NFL.com)

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com makes a list of lessons learned from the Patriots’ Super Bowl run that could be applicable to coaches of all levels.

Here’s his five points.

  1. Focus on each player’s best traits.
  2. Build a roster that features a number of versatile players.
  3. Place greater value on intelligence than athleticism.
  4. Toughness matters.
  5. It’s always about the team.

Brooks makes another point when addressing how to build a coaching staff.

At a time when it has become popular to appoint coaches with quarterback-development experience to the offensive coordinator position, it appears there could be a subtle trend emerging in the NFL that goes against the grain. More NFL head coaches are elevating former tight ends coaches to the offensive coordinator position. The Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans are at the forefront of the trend after promoting tight ends coaches Tim Kelly and Arthur Smith, respectively.

What player traits are most valuable to you as a coach?

3. What Is The Best Workout For A Football Player? (BodyBuilding.com)

BodyBuilding.com opened a question to its readers — What is the best workout for a football player?

Veeshmack won first place for a response that included this advice.

The program has portions for upper body, lower body, speed, agility, acceleration, plyometrics and more.

Football is played as an explosive sport; plays often last between 2-and-15 seconds. In most cases all the strength and power is put out in a few shots then you get a chance to rest up and do it again.
For this reason, the best system to use is a 5×5 program allowing the body to exert maximum force in multiple sessions. In addition, I aim toward getting between 20 and 40 seconds of rest between each set. It is important to make sure you work every muscle, when athletes avoid this they often end up seeing injuries and torn muscles.

What is the most important part of your offseason strength and conditioning program?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!